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Dealing with Stress | Part 2

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
December 14, 2021 7:00 am

Dealing with Stress | Part 2

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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December 14, 2021 7:00 am

In this message, Adrian Rogers offers insight on dealing with stress.

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Are you dealing with stress today?

Listen to Love Worth Finding featuring timeless messages from beloved pastor and Bible teacher Adrian Rogers. In part one of today's message, we learn that stress is the gap between the demands placed upon us and our ability to meet them. It's not a sin to be stressed. Jesus, in His humanity, knew what it was like to be weary. But there is good news for those dealing with stress. Pastor Rogers said, the Christian life is not only a changed life, it is an exchanged life. We give Him our weakness, and He gives us His strength. If you have your Bible, turn now to Isaiah chapter 40, beginning in verse 28.

Once again, here's Adrian Rogers. Today, we're going to be talking about stress. This is the day of the quick hash, the mad dash, a lot of stress. We're all stressed up and nowhere to go. Well, what does the Bible have to say about stress?

Quite a bit, I believe. Isaiah chapter 40, verse 28, hast thou not known, hast thou not heard that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might, He increaseth strength. Even the ewes shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and shall not faint. First of all, I want you to notice what I'm going to call the problem of stress, the problem of stress. Look, if you will, in verses 29 and 30.

He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might, He increaseth strength. Even the ewes shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. Now what is the problem of stress? The problem of stress is that gap between the demands that are placed upon us and the strength we have to meet those demands. Even the ewes, even the young people are going to find themselves stressed. They're going to find that their strength is gone. They do not have the strength to meet the need. You may be weary for three basic reasons.

Number one, just the plain demands of service. For example, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself was weary. The Lord Jesus knew what it was to get tired. The Bible teaches that Jesus was weary and He set upon the curbing of the well there at Samaria. Jesus had been traveling those hot, dusty roads and His body was depleted and drained of strength because He was human. He had humanity just like we do. But not only the demands of service, also the dissipations of sin will take strength out of you.

Now the one is not bad, but the other is. Think of old Samson, that heavyweight champion of the Old Testament. This man, who ever lived so far as I know, destroyed a mighty lion as though he'd been a little baby goat. Carried off the gates of the city of Gaza on his shoulders. Slew an army of Philistines with the jawbone of a jackass.

Mighty, mighty, but he began to flirt with a trashy harlot named Delilah. He prostituted his relationship with God and because of his sin, his strength was depleted. And sin, my dear friend, will weary you.

It takes out physical strength, emotional strength, moral strength, and spiritual strength. But all of that is compounded by the devices of Satan. Now look, the demands of service, the dissipations of sin, and the devices of Satan. Satan waits until he sees that you're weary. Now folks, all of us are going to know the stress factor. Good people and bad people, sinners and saints, young and old, even the ewes shall faint and be weary. There are demands that are upon us and there is this negation of strength and there's a gap and that gap is the stress factor. Okay?

Second thing I want you to notice. Not only what I want to call the problem of stress, but I want you to see the promise of strength. The Bible says in verse 31, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall, not may, they shall renew their strength. Now look at the word renew.

It's a Hebrew word, chalef. It literally means they shall exchange their strength. You see, listen, the Christian life is not so much a changed life as it is an exchanged life. I give him my strength, which is really weakness, for the weakness of God is stronger than men and the strength of men is but weakness. And I give that to God and God gives his to me and there is a change.

There is an exchange. It's the same thing that the Apostle Paul talked about in Galatians 2-20. I'm crucified with Christ. Nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ that liveth in me. And the life I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. That is more than a changed life.

It is an exchanged life. Did you know that you can put off your weakness just like you take off a coat and you can put on God's strength just like you put on another one? They that wait upon the Lord shall exchange their strength. Now, that brings us to a real question. How do you wait upon the Lord?

Because this is the crux of the whole matter. And here is the answer to stress. The key to dealing with stress is in this little phrase here in Isaiah chapter 40 and verse 31, waiting upon the Lord. The psalmist said almost the same thing in Psalm 27 verse 14, Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, he shall strengthen thy heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord. Well, the question comes, Pastor, what does it mean to wait on the Lord?

And here's where most of us are going to miss it. Most of us might think that waiting on the Lord is some form of passivity. Sitting around waiting for God to do something. It is not passivity.

It is activity. Waiting on the Lord is not being passive. It is not sitting around until God finally moves. When you wait upon God, you take the initiative. Now, if waiting upon God is the secret of strength, you need to learn how to wait upon God. Now, first of all, it really means that you are to long for the Lord. There is to be a deep, deep desire in your heart for God. Let me give you the verse.

Psalm 62 verse 1, Truly my soul waiteth upon God, from him cometh my salvation. That is, O God, you're the one I need. O God, I long for you. As the heart pants after the water brook, so my heart desires you. O my God, I long for you, Lord. I desire you.

I seek you. Do you desire God? To wait upon God is to long for Him, to desire Him, to want Him more than anything else. And if you do, then to wait upon God means something else.

If you long for Him, you will listen to Him. Proverbs chapter 8 verse 34, listen to this verse. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the post of my doors. Now, God here links waiting with listening. I listen to God. When I wait upon the Lord, I have tuned my ear to God.

And how do I do it? I watch daily at His gates. That is, God and I have an appointment. God and I have a quiet time.

God and I have a trysting place. I have a time, a place at His gates, at His doors where I rise. I go to meet Him, and I wait upon Him. I look to Him.

I listen to Him. I'm going to put this sermon in a sentence right now, dear friend. The answer to stress is a quiet time with God. We talk about this quiet time. We preach about it. We sing about it. But we don't practice it.

And, dear friend, that's the reason so many of us are so stressed. We have not met God early in the morning. We've not sought His face. We've not shut other things out and shut ourselves up alone with God. We've not saturated our souls in His Word and bathed ourselves in His presence.

It is no wonder that we're stressed. To wait upon God means, number one, to long for Him. And because we long for Him, we listen to Him. And, dear friend, when we listen to Him, we learn to look to Him, and we listen to this in Psalm 104, verse 27. God is talking about the creatures of the field, the animals, and all of these creatures that God has created. And it says, These wait all upon thee, that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.

You know what that means? They all look to God. The birds look to God. The foxes look to God. The beasts of the field look to God.

These all wait upon thee, that thou mayest give us them their meat in due season. Lord, I look to you. I don't know what the need is today, God, but you're sufficient. I don't know what the problem is, God, but you're sufficient. God, my hope is in you. You see, when I long for Him, I'll listen to Him. And when I listen to Him, I will look to Him. My strength cometh from the Lord.

I lift up mine eyes unto the hills. No wonder we're stressed. Most of us would not want it to be known how much quality time we spend with God. We wonder why we're so tense. We wonder why we're so nervous.

We wonder why we're so stressed. We are to wait upon God, and that means to long for Him. That means to listen to Him. That means to look to Him. And, my dear friend, it means one more thing. It means to live for Him. Listen, listen if you will here in Proverbs chapter 27 and verse 18.

Again, he uses this word, wait. Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof. That is, how do you keep a fig tree?

Well, you prune it, you fertilize it, you nurture it, you do whatever is necessary to keep the things that would harm it away. You spend time on that fig tree. Now, he says, if you prune a fig tree, then you have a right to eat the fruit thereof. But now wait a minute, he's not finished yet. So he that waiteth on his master shall be honored. Now, God is our master, and if we wait on the Lord, that means that we are to be doing for God what a person would do to a fig tree if he wanted fruit from the fig tree.

When a person serves a fig tree, he gets fruit from the fig tree. When a person serves God, he eats heaven's fruit. He that waiteth upon his master shall be honored. What does it mean to wait upon God? It means to serve God. It means to live for God. When you go to a restaurant and the waiter comes, why do we call him a waiter?

Because he serves us. But the word wait, in the real sense, to wait upon somebody means to serve them. When you wait upon God, that doesn't mean you're just sitting in a chair waiting, because you're not going to do something. It means you are living for God. When a man takes care of a fig tree, he eats the fruit thereof, and when a man waits upon his master, his master honors him. Now, what does it mean, therefore, to wait upon God?

Listen to me. They that wait upon the Lord are going to exchange their strength. To wait upon God means to long for God. It means to listen to God. It means to look to God.

It means to live for God. That is, my life is wrapped up in him. Are you waiting upon God? If not, no wonder you haven't exchanged your strength.

All right, now the third and final thing I want you to see. First of all, the problem of stress. Secondly, the promise of strength.

Thirdly, the program of service. What happens when we wait upon God? Why does God give us strength? Look, verse 31. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.

Why? Well, number one, they shall mount up with wings as eagles. Number two, they shall run and not be weary.

Number three, they shall walk and not faint. Now, there are three things that cause us stress. One is adversity, the storms of life. They cause us stress.

The other is opportunity. The things that we want to do, we're afraid are going to get away from us. They cause us stress. And the third is necessity, the things we have to do. Adversity, those are the things that come upon us, unexpected. Opportunities, those are those glorious things that we want to seize upon. We don't want them to pass us by.

Necessities, those are the things we have to do day after day. Now, I want to show you, dear friend, if you fail in any of these areas, now adversity comes to us and it's like a storm. And God here uses the analogy of an eagle. And He says, when we wait upon the Lord, we shall mount up with wings as an eagle. Now, the eagle sees the storm. The eagle is no earthly bird. He's not a bird of the barnyard and the mud and the filth.

He is used several times in the Bible to speak of the saints. We're like eagles. I've studied the life of eagles. Let me tell you about an eagle. An eagle looks to the storm, longs for the storm, because he knows that those thermal updrafts of the storm can cause him to soar and to rise higher than he ever would rise before. He spreads his mighty wings and that storm is no threat to him because he rides on the storm. He rises above the storm and he just puts those wings out there and he soars. Let me tell you what a storm will do for an eagle.

Number one, it causes him to rise higher. Because of that, it causes him to see further and it causes him to fly faster. Did you know that an eagle normally flies at about 50 miles an hour? But in a storm, he's been clocked at speeds of almost 100 miles an hour. How's that, Mr.

Pilot, for an eagle? Almost 100 miles an hour and those very winds that would defeat others, he just catches and he rises up and God gives him strength in times of storms. Now, friend, I want to tell you something. You're going to face some storms and those storms are going to stress you unless you're waiting on God. But if you wait upon God, God's going to exchange your weakness for his strength and you're going to rise up and God is going to give you strength for elevation.

But now wait a minute. Not only is God going to give you strength for elevation, but God is also going to give you strength for acceleration because not only does he say that they shall mount up with wings as eagles, but he also says that they shall run and not be weary. You see, dear friend, not only are we going to face adversity, but we're going to face opportunities. There are going to be opportunities and there are going to be times when we need to be so fast. There are going to be times when we need to meet deadlines. Do you ever meet deadlines? Oh, friend, I face deadlines. I live by deadlines. I think I understand why they call them deadlines.

But about a sign on a barrel of fish, if not delivered in three days, never mind. Friend, there are opportunities. And what glorious opportunities all around us. Friend, listen, when you see opportunities, things you want to do, things you ought to do, things you should do, and you just don't have the strength to meet them, you better spend time waiting on the Lord. A guy said something to me the other day that really put me under conviction. I think it was true from God. He said no one should ever attempt to do more than he can pray over. No one should attempt to do more than he can pray over.

That's pretty good, isn't it? You see, they that wait upon the Lord, when adversity comes, you wait upon God, God gives you strength to soar. When opportunity comes and you wait upon God, God gives you strength to surge, to rise, or to run.

But if you can't rise or you can't run, then distress. Well, wait a minute. God is coming to the climax now. You may think what He's about to say now is anti-climactic, but if you understand the way the Hebrews wrote and understand anything about poetry or writing or divine inspiration, God is not diminishing. God is not trailing off.

He has saved the best for the last. Not only elevation, not only acceleration, but determination. We shall walk and not faint. And friend, that may sound prosaic, but that's the best and that's the highest. Do you want me to tell you what victorious Christian living is primarily?

Not soaring like an eagle or running like a deer. It's walking day by day for Jesus Christ. Day by day. Let me tell you what the victorious Christian life is. Fixing breakfast, dressing the kids when you can't find but one sock, getting them off to school on time and still praising Jesus or getting to church on time. Brother, I'll tell you what, it's no wonder the lost people don't come to church. We had to have an act of Congress to get our kids to church on Sunday morning when they were little. By the time we got here, we needed to be here. We lost our religion getting here. It's cleaning toilet bowls.

We're doing the same old grind on the job. It's serving God in good days and bad days, hot days and cold days, every day, every way, day after day, night after night, week after week, walking for Jesus. It is religion in shoe leather. And more of us fail in these areas than we do in times of adversity or times of opportunity, times of necessity. It's one thing to have soaring power. It's another thing to have surging power. But, friend, it's something wonderful to have sticking power, to stay, to walk and faint not, to keep on keeping on for the Lord Jesus. Why does God give us strength? Acceleration, elevation, primarily determination, to live for our Lord in the little things. They that wait upon the Lord, they will exchange their strength. Dear friend, the stress factor is the difference between the necessities that are laid upon you and the strength that you have in your life. And when you see that factor, that stress, when God removes that factor, that, my friend, is surrender.

And what a powerful lesson straight from God's Word today. God bless you, friend, as you've listened. Maybe you have a prayer request that you'd like to share.

There's something that's weighing you down and stressing you. At Love Worth Finding, we love to come alongside you in prayer. And if you can, go to our website homepage at lwf.org slash radio and scroll down to find our prayer wall. There you'll find the option to submit a prayer request or pray for others, or you can do both. This resource is one of our favorite ways to keep the ministry and the community praying continually for one another's needs.

Let us hear from you today. Now, if you'd like to order a copy of today's message in its entirety, you can call us at 1-877-LOVEGOD and request the title Dealing with Stress. This message is also part of the insightful series Getting a Handle on Your Emotions. For the complete collection, all eight powerful messages, call 1-877-LOVEGOD, or you can order online at lwf.org slash radio or write us at Love Worth Finding, Box 38600, Memphis, Tennessee 38183.

If you believe in the promises of God, you must wait upon Him every day, long for Him daily, listen for His voice in your time alone with Him, look to Him for every need, and live for Him. Thank you for joining us for our study in God's Word. We hope you'll tune in next time for more from Adrian Rogers right here on Love Worth Finding. Listen to this quick note someone left on our Facebook wall recently. She writes, Pastor Adrian Rogers continues to inspire, encourage, and point toward the only one who brings us hope and peace in a hopeless, peace-less world, Jesus Christ. We could not agree more. Thank you for sharing that.

As 2021 has shown us through the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest, political division, the days are growing gloriously dark. This difficult year has made people more open to the things of God, and here at Love Worth Finding, we're ready to meet them with the hope and the love of Christ. That's why we believe this is one of the best times ever to make a difference for the kingdom, and we want to ask you to consider renewing your support with the calendar year-end gift today. Would you call with a gift today at 1-877-LOVEGOD or give online if that's easier at lwf.org slash radio. For more information, visit lwf.org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-09 09:01:03 / 2023-07-09 09:10:36 / 10

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